Elia and RTE's LIFE project wins Natura 2000 Award


On 23 May 2016, Elia and RTE's LIFE project won the Reconciling interests/perceptions category of the Natura 2000 Award, a prize awarded by the European Commission's DG Environment in conjunction with Natura 2000, the European network for biodiversity.

With this award the European Commission is recognising the efforts of all the partners involved in the Elia-RTE LIFE project: Belgian electricity transmission system operator Elia, French transmission system operator RTE, the Walloon Region, the LIFE project team and many partners in the field, such as forest owners, public authorities, nature reserves, farmers, hunters and nature conservation organisations.

Underlining as it does large companies' commitment to conservation and revitalising biodiversity, this project again shows how it is feasible to reconcile nature conservation, economic activity and local players on Natura 2000 sites.

The jury noted three strengths in Elia and RTE's LIFE project:

  1. Win-win partnerships established with the local partners.
  2. The notion of an ecological electricity grid. The electricity corridors under overhead high-voltage lines enhance the links between natural sites. In this way, the power grid can give a real boost to the Natura 2000 network in terms of the connections it wants to establish so as to support species and natural habitats.
  3. The replicability of the actions. The LIFE project implements seven actions that both ensure electrical safety and security and promote biodiversity. These actions can be reproduced in all EU Member States by simply adapting them to the local natural environment. Indeed, one of the goals of the LIFE project's is to share the techniques developed with transmission system operators across Europe.

You can learn more about Elia and RTE's LIFE project at http://www.life-elia.eu.